Thursday, April 17, 2014

Citizen Science Frog Monitoring at Hartley Nature Center - April 26

DULUTH, Minn. – Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages are invited to learn about two research opportunities taking place at Hartley Nature Center, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Saturday workshop will provide information and hands-on activities for frog monitoring and vernal pool identification and assessment. Presentations and guided walks to vernal pools starting at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon.

“Anyone who is looking for an excuse to hike in beautiful Hartley Park is welcome to join us to learn about data collection for our long-term frog monitoring project and vernal pool status in northeastern Minnesota,” explained Jennifer Olker, scientist at UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute. Vernal pools are temporary ponds that are vital breeding habitat for many forest creatures. They are not currently protected in Minnesota and scientists lack critical information about them.
Vernal Pool in Early Spring
Workshop participants will learn about Minnesota’s frogs and toads, the current state of amphibians, importance of small wetlands, and how they can help, including two volunteer opportunities: 

Western Chorus Frog and Wood Frog
helping collect data

1) Frog Monitoring Project: conducting surveys at Hartley Park during three periods: April 25 – May 15, May 30 – June 15 and July 5 – July 20

2) Vernal Pool Identification and Field Verification: in Hartley Park and other locations across northeast Minnesota from snowmelt through July. 

Pre-registration is recommended by contacting Jennifer Olker at,, 720-4344 or Ryan Hueffmeier,, 720-4379.

April 26 is also national Save The Frogs Day, the world’s largest day of amphibian education and conservation action. Poetry and art contests are being held as part of the celebration. Learn more at

The Natural Resources Research Institute’s mission is to foster the economic development of Minnesota’s natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment.